The last days of summer our winding down. If you haven’t been out visiting the local farmers markets, now is a great time to do so. The bounty of the last of the summer gardens is at their peak, and the abundance of fall goodies are hitting the markets. You’ll be finding pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, decorative Indian corn, winter squash and gourds, new sweet potatoes, garlic and still some late vegetables.
We've canned dozens of quarts of tomatoes, sauce and juice to enjoy this winter. The peppers go into the freezer.
I just picked 23 nice sized butternut squash to store for the winter. Perhaps I’ll use one in the recipe below. We also have loads of sweet potatoes to dig yet, but we’ll wait another week or two to do that.
We’ll all soon be thinking of pumpkin pie. If you’ve never made pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin you might want to give it a try. It’s actually not that hard, and you’ll taste the difference. Pie pumpkins are the little tiny pumpkins, not much bigger than a softball. Some people also use butternut squash or another winter squash for their pie filling, and it’s great too. Prepare either the same way. Here’s how my friend Karen recommends preparing a pie pumpkin and here’s her favorite pumpkin pie recipe (I’m not sure where she got it).
Wash pumpkin and break off stem by knocking it against a counter. Cut in half and lay cut-side down on baking dish/sheet with a lip. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until a fork pierces the skin easily. Remove from oven, turn pieces up and let cool. Scoop out seeds (these are tasty toasted) and peel away skin. Cut into chunks and puree in the blender adding a little liquid from the baking dish if it looks too thick. One medium-sized pie pumpkin should yield 2 cups of puree, enough for one pie.
One unbaked piecrust of your choice
6 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP white sugar
½ tsp. salt or 1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. cloves
½ cup dark corn syrup
3 large eggs slightly beaten
2 cups pumpkin/squash puree
1 ½ cups evaporated milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla
Mix ingredients. Pour into unbaked piecrust. Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour.